Agent Carter season one, episode 3
“Time and Tide”
Guys, I am still very much into Agent Carter.
I was worried that following the two-hour premiere written by the Captain America scribes it would be a clunky transition into the final six parts of this eight-part series, but this was not the case. “Time and Tide” served to expand the world — and, most importantly, the relationships — of Peggy Carter in nuanced and compelling ways. There was less advancement of the Leviathan storyline, but I’m OK with that. I have no doubt that, with Howard Stark’s return next episode, we will learn more about the shady organization after his very dangerous inventions, but that storyline is only as compelling as the effect it has on these characters. “Time and Tide” gave us some surprisingly effective punches to the gut in that arena, while giving us almost no new information about this villainous force. Very efficient storytelling, people!
(There were some literal gut punches, too.)
The death of Agent Krzeminski. One of my favorite aspects of this week’s episode was how the show handled the death of Agent Krzeminski. His was really the first prominent, unexpected death of a good guy character on this show. (We’re not counting Peggy’s poor roommate. Though affecting, we never really got a chance to know Colleen.) The fact that this death was given such weight was really important for this show because it established some tangible stakes, grounding the at-times ludicrous action in reality. Agent Carter has an old-school simplicity that is refreshing and rare on TV today. Watching Peggy’s story unfold can feel like a viewing of Indiana Jones or some other old-school adventure story where one clue always leads to another like points on a treasure map. But this death, and the time its aftermath was given, reminded the viewer that, though this mystery may be narratively efficient, its consequences and the world Peggy lives is defined by complicated emotions. The “good” guys will die. Peggy won’t get the respect she deserves. These events will have emotional consequences on Peggy and the other characters. As long as Agent Carter remembers this, which it seems poised to do, it will succeed on a narrative level. At least for me.
The Good Ship Carvis.
My intense shipping of Peggy and Jarvis (#Carvis) intensified this week, while simultaneously becoming more complicated with the explanation of the backstory between Jarvis and his still yet-to-be-seen-on-screen wife. Guys, it’s a very nice backstory. Apparently, Jarvis met his wife Anna in Budapest while he was serving in the British military. He forfeited his career to steal the papers that would guarantee Jewish Anna safe transport out of the country. Though he was charged with treason for the action, Howard Stark was able to get him off with a dishonorable discharge. This doesn’t stop douchey Agent Thompson from using it against Jarvis in an attempt to get the butler to turn on his employer. He threatens deportation for both Jarvis and his wife. Peggy gets Jarvis off the hook (by feigning incompetence that later gets her dressed down in front of the entire department), but we get to see just how much Jarvis cares about the off-screen presence known as Anna.
Jarvis is very dedicated to his wife, but I can’t help but think there’s a clever reason for the fact that we’ve only heard his voice and have yet to see her on-screen.
The newest theory that seems to be making the (obscure) Internet rounds is that Anna could be Dottie, the new girl at Griffiths House and a possible Leviathan assassin. I’m not sure if this is true, but I have enough faith in this show to believe it has a clever reason for keeping Anna off-screen. Anna being a character we meet in another context is the most obvious one.
The adorable Jarvis family backstory is powerful, but it still doesn’t stop me from shipping Carvis. (Like Agent Carter, I too am possible of complex emotions.) The relationship between these two continues to be the heart of the series.
Jarvis is the only person in Peggy’s life who sees the whole of it. He is her confidante and partner-in-crime. He understands her motivations even when she is reluctant to admit them to herself. Exhibit A: the best scene of the episode in which Jarvis explains to Peggy why she can’t call in the cachet of Stark’s weapons herself.
These two are everything. Their banter is consistently the most fun part of every episode, while they also win at the quiet, emotional moments like the one seen here.
Who is the spy? Because you know some seemingly nice guy/girl is secretly a Leviathan assassin, right? My money is currently on new Griffiths House girl Dottie, who was randomly introduced in this episode as a ballerina-in-training from Iowa.
Was she the assassin who took out Krzeminski? The figure and gait of the assassin seemed more like a woman’s than a man’s, no? Last week, I lamented the lack of other female characters within Peggy’s spy world, so I am desperately hoping Dottie is somehow involved. It would be even better if she were the major villain of this season and a leading member of Leviathan. Peggy’s BFF Angie continues to be another likely candidate for Leviathan spy. Not only is she played by the ass-kicking Lyndsy Fonseca, who has demonstrated her stunt fighting ability on Nikita, but Angie continues to go above and beyond to insinuate herself into Peggy’s life.
That being said, I really love the dynamic between these two friends, and would be sad to discover Angie is a villain.
Other likely scenarios? She is somehow working for Howard Stark or another “friendly.” This would fit that feeling that she is hiding something, while also keep her on the side of the good guys.
During a recent Tumblr-lurking session, I found a theory that Agent Sousa could be a Leviathan spy. I kind of love this idea because, as the most respectful of Peggy, we automatically liked this character. It would be a great rug-out-from-under-us moment if we discovered he has been working for Leviathan this whole time. It would also explain how Leviathan found out about the confiscation of Stark’s inventions so quickly.
The ratings. Can we talk about the elephant in the room? (OK, maybe the elephant is not in your room, but he’s definitely lurking in my digital space.) I’m talking about Agent Carter’s mediocre ratings. I very much want this series to continue past its initial eight-episode run. I think both TV and the Marvel Cinematic Universe need this show.
Right now, with the ratings the way they are, I’m not so sure that will happen. What I’m saying is: I don’t see Peggy and Jarvis getting together this season, so find those Nielsen families, bake them cookies, and show them your best Carvis fanvid! I’m counting on you because I don’t know any Nielsen families…yet.
Chad Michael Murray.
I didn’t spend much time on Chad Michael Murray in last week’s recap of the premiere, but I am really enjoying him in this role. He plays arrogant, smarmy, condescending, brutal yet relatively capable agent very well. Though his Agent Thompson hasn’t gotten as much screen time as Peggy or Jarvis, he still feels fully realized in a way that he shouldn’t be — and I give a lot of that credit to Murray’s portrayal of this character and sheer on-screen charisma. Also, his hair. Very convincing hair.
- Is Peggy ever actually at work? She’s worse than Felicity on Arrow. (Just kidding: no one is worse than Felicity, work wise.)
- Jarvis’ Brooklyn accent was the best moment of this episode.
- Though Agent Thompson’s “I’ll call his girlfriend.” came in a close second. Way to break the somber mood after Krzeminski’s death, show. (That sounds sarcastic, but I was serious.)
- It’s somewhat strange to watch a show about post-WWII America in which the two main characters are British.
- Agent Carter is not on next week due to Obama’s “State of the Union” address. Noooooooooo!!!!!!
- I highly recommending this charming interview James D’Arcy (aka Jarvis) did for the L.A. Times.
- And, while we’re on the subject, if you haven’t seen Cloud Atlas, in which D’Arcy plays about a million roles, it is a beautiful, wonderful movie. (Kim: Also D’Arcy is scaring the bejeezus out of me on the current season of Broadchurch. So this is all very confusing for me.)
What did you think of “Time and Tide”? Better or worse than the premiere? Will you keep watching? What is up with Anna Jarvis? Who is the Leviathan assassin? Can Angie be trusted? Share your thoughts in the comments below!